Map of Cycle New Mexico: Santa Fe & Taos including United States Of America

An inspiring ride through the Land of Enchantment

It’s not called the Land of Enchantment for nothing – New Mexico will soon have you under its spell. Vast, varied and totally captivating, these landscapes are best explored on two wheels, and with a local leader by your side you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the region. Jumping off from the creative capital of Santa Fe, cycle your way past canyons, mountains and adobe churches, taking in scenes that have inspired painters and photographers for centuries. Explore the ancient relics of Bandelier National Monument and pedal to the communities surrounding Taos, home to artisans and artists alike.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Santa Fe, United States
Finish
Santa Fe, United States
Destination
United States
Style
Original
Theme
Cycling
Code
SSXNM
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why you'll love this trip

  • Starting and finishing in the creative hub of Santa Fe, your local leader will introduce you to the town’s fascinating history as you cycle around its most spectacular sights.

  • When you’re not cycling you’ll explore New Mexico on foot, hiking through the dramatic landscapes of Bandelier National Monument, which hide ancient petroglyphs, rock-carved dwellings and masonry walls.

  • Challenge your legs and reward your eyes as you cycle the celebrated High Road to Taos, a scenic path that weaves through the Sangre de Cristo Mountains between Santa Fe and Taos.

  • Ride through the iconic landscapes that inspired the works of Ansel Adams and Georgia O’Keeffe, including the San Francisco de Asis, one of the most photographed churches in the USA.

  • Discover New Mexico’s eclectic art scene as you pedal to the small communities that drive the local culture, including Arroyo Seco, home to artists, sculptors, jewellers and eateries.

Is this trip right for you?

  • This trip is new to our range this year. And while we have thoroughly researched every detail of the logistics, new destinations and working with new partners can sometimes throw us some unexpected surprises. More often than not, it’ll be a great surprise. But every now and again there might be a hiccup. We like to think that’s what puts the ‘adventure’ in ‘adventure travel’.

  • Please ensure you consult your local government’s advice regarding travel prior to booking this trip.

  • To complete this trip it is important that you are both confident and competent in riding a bicycle. While the cycling distances on this trip are relatively short, the terrain can sometimes be hilly so you’ll need a reasonable level of fitness to enjoy the trip – but remember, we will always have the support vehicle on hand if you need to take a break for an hour or a day.

  • This trip deliberately involves a fair amount of driving – this is designed that you only cycle the very best places and none of the 'transit' legs in-between.

  • For groups of less than six travellers we have a single leader that drives the support vehicle alongside the group. For larger groups we have a separate driver and the leader will cycle all routes.

  • Where the vehicle cannot travel directly with the cyclists (e.g. a cyclists-only path) your leader will assign a person from the group to act as a backmarker.

  • As our riding is done mostly on sealed roads with the occasional gravel cycle path there are no technical cycling skills required – but given the hills involved, we do suggest practicing riding downhill so you are comfortable with this once the trip begins.

  • If you feel like doing all the riding but with less effort, you have the option of hiring an electric bike (e-bike) on this trip.

Itinerary

Welcome to Sante Fe, New Mexico, a city that marches to the beat of its own drum. Not only is Santa Fe the oldest and highest capital in the U.S, it’s also a hub for creativity, artistic endeavours and First Nations culture. Your adventure begins with a midday (12pm) welcome meeting where you’ll meet up with your local leader and fellow travellers. After your meeting, it’s time to get your wheels in motion with a warm-up ride around town, learning about its layered history and pedalling through the historic plaza, then head west of Santa Fe across New Mexico’s parched, rolling landscape. Take in endless views across the Caja del Rio Plateau before looping back and joining a small section of the El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro National Historic Trail as you cycle back into town, soaking up stunning views of the nearby Sangre de Cristo Mountains all the way in. The evening is free for you to explore this fascinating city – perhaps stroll the art gallery-lined Canyon Road, the Railyard Arts District or enjoy a group dinner with your new cycling friends.
Accommodation
  • Hotel/Motel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
Today's riding distance is approximately 32 kilometres/20 miles with an elevation gain of 1300ft/400m.
After breakfast this morning, hit the road and make the 1-hour drive to the immense Bandelier National Monument. Swap your shoes from cycling to hiking as you explore sections of this incredible 33,000-acre site while your leader provides insight into ancient Ancestral Pueblo history. Hidden among yawning canyons and dramatic mesas you’ll find petroglyphs, rock-carved dwellings and masonry walls – evidence of human life stretching as far back as 11,000 years. Start at the Ancestral Pueblo village of Tsankawi to view cavates and petroglyphs, then drive up to the main site at Frijoles Canyon. Witness five centuries of history at the village of Tyuonyi, a circular pueblo site that once stood up to three stories tall, and the talus houses and cliff dwellings along the route. If you’re feeling energetic (and don’t have a fear of heights) perhaps push on to ascend the four wooden ladders up to the beautiful Alcove House before returning to Santa Fe for the evening.
Accommodation
  • Hotel/Motel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
No included cycling today
Get ready for a challenging yet unforgettable ride today. Make the 40-minute drive north to the enchanting Santuario de Chimayo, a church often cited as the most important Catholic pilgrimage centre in the U.S, then saddle up and get on the aptly named High Road to Taos. After a short downhill, the road turn upwards, carving its way from stark desert up through the tree-lined Sangre de Cristo Mountains to the small town of Truchas. Take a rest and admire the views across the valley before continuing on undulating roads, then tackle the last climb of the day up through pine forest to the towering McGaffey ridge. At 2500 metres/8000 feet this is the high point of today’s ride and the rare air rather than the gradient is usually the biggest test. With challenge comes a reward, and yours comes in the shape of a 25 km/15 mile gentle descent all the way into the mesmerising art colony town of Taos, your home for the next three nights.
Accommodation
  • Hotel/Motel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today's riding distance is approximately 80 kilometres/50 miles with an elevation gain of 4900ft/1500m. For those looking for an easier ride (and to save 17km/ 11 miles of riding and 700m/ 2300ft of climbing) today you are most welcome to stay in the support vehicle up to Truchas.
After yesterday’s challenging ride, it’s time to take it easy with a flatter route around the main attractions of this intriguing town – you’ll soon discover why these landscapes inspired the legendary works of photographer Ansel Adams and artist Georgia O’Keeffe. The morning ride begins at your hotel and winds through Taos to San Francisco de Asis, one of the most photographed and iconic churches in the U.S. Continue past Taos Pueblo, the only living Native American community designated both a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a National Historic Landmark, then finish up at the soaring Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, the second highest bridge on the U.S. Highway System. From here, it’s a quick 20-minute drive back into town where the afternoon is free for you to explore the Taos Historic District. The streets are full of interesting traditional history, art galleries and shops, plus there are plenty of restaurants and cafes nearby to enjoy a quiet (or lively!) evening.
Accommodation
  • Hotel/Motel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today's riding distance is approximately 41 kilometres/24 miles with an elevation gain of 780ft/240m.
The spectacular hills of New Mexico are waiting for today’s ride. Along with the mountainous surroundings, this area is known for its eclectic arts scene, and today you’ll explore some of the small communities that help drive this local industry, including the tiny artisanal village of Arroyo Seco. This colourful village is home to artists, sculptors, jewellers and a tempting array of eateries, making it a great place to fuel up before climbing up to the famed Taos Ski Valley in the heart of New Mexico’s Enchanted Circle. Located just 50 miles south of the Colorado border, Taos Ski Valley is one of the highest municipalities in the US and a fantastic place to test your legs (and lungs) as the road makes its way skywards. Enjoy a well-earned rest and refreshment at the summit, then turn around for a cruisy 30 kilometre/18 mile mostly downhill ride all the way back into Taos. As ever, if you’d prefer the thrill of the downhill without the climb, you can hitch a ride in the support vehicle.
Accommodation
  • Hotel/Motel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today's riding distance is approximately 63 kilometres/39 miles with an elevation gain of 2900ft/880m.
Rise bright and early, departing after breakfast for one last magical ride in New Mexico. A short drive over the mountains leads to the sparse landscapes of the Eagle Nest State Park, then it’s back onto your bike for the ride back to Taos. Retrace your tires’ tracks alongside the flat and stark surrounds of the lake, then it’s back up through the pines and switchbacks to Palo Fletchado Pass. From here you can rest your legs and enjoy a gentle 30kms/19 mile descent, following the Fernando de Taos River all the way back down to Taos. Finish up with ample time to return to the hotel and freshen up, then make the 1.5-hour drive back to Santa Fe, where on arrival your cycling adventure comes to an end.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today's riding distance is approximately 50 kilometres/31 miles with an elevation gain of 1350ft/410m.

Meals

5 breakfasts

Transport

Bicycle (e-bike option available, subject to availability), Support Vehicle

Accommodation

Simple Hotel/Motel (5 nights)

Dates & availability

Trip departures are unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Cycle New Mexico: Santa Fe & Taos trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

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Important notes

Travellers on Intrepid trips are required to produce proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. Read details here.

1. This trip begins at midday 12pm on Day 1.
2. This trip finishes around 3pm on Day 6.
3. A Single Supplement may be available on this trip, please ask your booking agent for more information.
4. Bicycle hire is included in your trip price. Please advise your height at time of booking so we can organise a suitable sized bike.
5. The included bikes on this trip are a flat bar 'hybrid-style'. You have the option (at extra cost) of hiring an electric bike (e-bike) - this must be requested at the time of booking.
6. Bike helmets are compulsory on this trip. We are unable to hire bike helmets locally so please ensure you bring your own bike helmet from home.
7. For group less than 6 clients we have a single leader that drives the support vehicle alongside the group. For larger groups, we have a driver plus a leader that rides with the group.
8. Accommodation is not included on day 6 of this trip. If you require additional accommodation (or want to reserve your room for the main part of the day) please contact the hotel directly.
9. Due to Covid-19 restrictions some of the local attractions may be temporarily closed, running reduced hours, or require booking ahead. Please check their websites for up-to-date opening hours.

Essential trip information

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